A Day in the Life <> Circa March 2022

I haven’t done a Day in the Life post in months (October to be specific) and several people have expressed interest in seeing a breakdown of how I fill my days!

It is interesting to see how people structure their time and our life is about to shift in an exciting way for the next little while, so I wanted to capture a “typical” day before this change occurs (details coming tomorrow).

This post will cover Tuesday, 1 March but it makes sense to start by referencing events from February 28th.

I didn’t feel particularly tired on Monday night, but after a warm shower I hopped into bed to read (Anne of Ingleside) around 8:00 pm; by 8:20 I thought how nice it would be to put down the book and just “rest my eyes”.

I almost never fall asleep reading a book (to be fair I did put the book down, so it was a conscious decision) and I rarely fall asleep this early – my typical bedtime is between 10:00-10:30 pm.

It felt glorious to set aside my reading material and drift in and out of consciousness for about 35 minutes. But then practical me started sounding alarm bells – I knew this was not a wise decision for my nighttime sleep. I continue to have periodic issues with insomnia, and pre-bedtime naps are not ideal. Oh well. It was still worth it.

I got up at 9 pm, brushed my teeth, used the bathroom, and officially settled in for the night.

tuesday, March 1

1:51 am | I look at the clock for the first time. Whomp, whomp. I toss and turn a bit, but manage to get back to sleep.

3:15 am | I’ve been awake for a while but only look at the clock now. To be fair to my body, I have already had about 6 hours of (admittedly disjointed) sleep. I might as well get up. I read some news – I have been limiting consumption to a few times a day because doomscrolling does not feel productive, but I want to stay informed.

Life goes on, normally, for us here in Canada. And yet I can watch in real-time as mile after mile of military vehicles snake toward people whose lives have been altered in every conceivable way.

Faith is the central part of my identity, but my prayer life is admittedly weak. I spend too much time worrying about the structure of my prayer when, really, prayer is just heartfelt communication with a God who doesn’t score these petitions based on eloquence. So I pray – as best as I’m able – reminding myself it’s the authenticity and posture of my heart that matters, not how I articulate my words. My mind does wander (lots) but I pray until I fall asleep somewhere around 4:30/5:00 am.

6:54 am | I wake up. I don’t feel as groggy as I feared. I typically make lunchboxes the night before, but hadn’t on Monday (choosing to read and fall asleep early instead). I put on my watch and check the temperature. -16C. Brrr. At least it is now light when we get going with our day.

7:00 am | I wander out to the kitchen, turning up the heat on my way down the hall. I set the kids up with leftover Baked French Toast while I quickly prep lunchboxes. Usually I sit with the kids and read to them while they eat breakfast, but today I stay put in the kitchen while John reads a daily kids devotional with them. I usually follow this with a chapter of a book (currently The Mysterious Benedict Society), but that doesn’t happen today.

I spy a chess game…

7:30 AM | While the kids + John work on a chess game, I get dressed + brush my teeth.

I get side-tracked. My brother sends a text from his home in Denmark. His wife has many colleagues who live in Kharkiv and she has visited the city on several occasions. He calls the situation “surreal.” His wife is trying to make contact with friends and work colleagues in the city; some have made it out successfully but, he adds, “most of the men have stayed [to fight];” he talks of Romanian friends who are opening their doors to people fleeing Ukraine, including people in medical distress. In a war that can feel so distant, this brings it closer to home.

7:40 am | Then there is the juxtaposition of my life and reality. It is time to rally the troops for school. At -16C it is a chilly walk but, without wind, it’s bearable. Abby has a friend join her and Levi, John and I walk together.

On the way home my nose is running like crazy; I think I have no Kleenex but try my pockets just in case and hit the jackpot – multiple CLEAN tissues. This discovery makes me so happy; then I realize this seems like something an 80-year old would rejoice over. It’s the little things, right? And finding clean Kleenex was definitely #joyfinding.

~8:45 am | 52 minutes after we left the house, we’re home.

I putter. I make tea, prep lunchboxes for the next day (minus the sandwich; I’ll make those Wednesday morning – though, spoiler alert, Wednesday ends up being another snow day), and put away some dishes.

9:00 – 9:30 am | I sit at the table and lament. I am frustrated about some health things. Long story short, the latest course of action is not working. Today was to be cycle 3 of hormone treatments, and I opted to pull the plug. I am tired of complaining about my body but can’t seem to help myself.

9:30-9:45 am| I still feel a bit “off” but it’s time to work. I settle in at my desk and then end up spending 15 minutes texting back-and-forth with a friend; I share all the details of my gynecological woes and she makes me feel much better. She asks what she can do, but she’s already done what I need her to do which is to listen. This was 15 minutes well spent and I start working with a clear head.

9:45 am – 12:15 pm | Work. I had no scheduled meetings on Tuesday. Monday was a busy day in which I tackled a lot of specific to-do’s. Tuesday was more of a free day, and I use my time wisely (I think!) to start mapping out the next three months. I make a lot of notes about deadlines in my planner. This really helps me avoid ruminating over what I might be forgetting. I answer e-mails, prepare a spreadsheet, verify an invoice…nothing exciting, but it feels very productive.

12:15 – 12:45 pm | Walk on the treadmill. I sketch out a bit of this blog post, check the news again – briefly – and read a few e-mails.

12:45 | Upstairs to make and eat lunch. John fries up some mushrooms and leftover diced chicken with spices and balsamic vinegar. I scramble a few eggs and put the combo on a bed of spinach. It looks unappetizing but was absolutely delicious. Topped with nutritional yeast and my favourite balsamic + smoked paprika vinaigrette (based loosely on this recipe; I don’t use soy sauce), it is a very satisfying lunch. I drink some kombucha on the side.

After we’re done eating I sit in front of the patio door and enjoy the heat from the sun and stare out the window. The sun looks beautiful on the snow. While looking out the window I think: “You’re going to write about what you do today. You should get up and do something productive.” Then I remember what I try to work through here on this blog – about the need for puttering and resting – and go back to looking out the window.

John suggests we do Wordle. This feels fun and slightly productive (it’s exercising mental muscles). It takes us 5 tries; not our best effort…but rupee was unexpected. These seem to be getting more and more challenging?!

1:20 pm| Work check-in. I read through some e-mails, including a flurry of emails covering an aspect of a project over which I have no responsibility, so I get to muddle my way through reading about the problem and know it requires no further action from me. It’s fun to have things cross my inbox that I can read and file without further action!

1:45 – 3:00 pm | Walk with John + get the kids off the bus. This is the first long (5 km+) walk we’ve taken in…months?

3:00-3:15 pm | Home! We sort through school stuff; I help the kids unpack lunchboxes and they polish off whatever food they didn’t consume at school. Abby stays home to finish a chess game with John while Levi and I head to the library to exchange books.

3:45 pm | As always, the library is a treat. We had lots of books on hold, but we always enjoy browsing the stacks too. I make sure to look at the latest art installation. When we’re finished I drop Levi off at a friend’s house to…play more chess.

4:00 – 4:45 pm| I head back to the office (with a little snack of walnuts). I need to help someone troubleshoot a software issue; I can’t replicate the problem on my staging site (always a good sign, but also makes it more complicated to get to the bottom of the problem) so push this to my developer to see if he can get to the bottom of it. I respond to a few blog comments and get caught up on some online reading.

4:45-5:00 pm| I walk to collect Levi from his friend’s house and observe the end of their chess game. I suspect the rules were a bit flexible?

5:00 – 6:00 pm | John is boiling pasta while he takes a work call when we walk through the door. Levi asks if we can do a puzzle together. At first I say no, but figure since someone else is handling supper prep…why not?

We finish an old Shopkin puzzle in 18 minutes. It’s a lot of fun.

Then it’s time to eat – spaghetti sauce from the freezer. I made the sauce but will admit I’d classify it as only “okay.” It had zucchini and bell peppers and sausage – so was nice and hearty – but it was also a bit acidic (despite my trick of adding just a pinch of baking soda to counteract the acidity). No one complains, though, and there will be enough leftovers for Thursday’s supper. We mostly discuss Abby’s upcoming birthday while we eat. She has some great ideas for her party!

6:00 – 6:20 pm | Abby helps put things away and talks about birthday plans some more while I start the dishwasher, do a load of dishes and putter in the kitchen. Levi reads his “homework” book to John and then they start another chess game.

6:20 – 7:00 pm | John heads downstairs for the start of his evening meetings. The dishwasher is running and I’ve puttered as much as I need to in order to feel quasi-ready for Wednesday morning. I sit down in the living room and watch the kids play chess. When they finish their game they get ready for bed and spend 30 watching videos, per their request. We could have avoided videos entirely this day, but it was nice to have a break before the final stages of bedtime. I write more of this post.

7:00 – 7:30 pm | We pile into bed and read books. One, A Map of Good Memories, ends with the words of Anne Frankl: “One day this terrible war will be over…” It’s a book we’ve read before; it’s both haunting and hopeful.

Arranged in order of our preference. With the exception of Clifford which is…well…a Clifford book, all the selections were great (we each got to pick 2).

7:30 pm | When we’re done reading we talk about war. We discuss Russia and Putin and democracy; we talk about how their great-grandfather was in the Navy in WWII and how his ship was torpedoed. They ask if he survived? “Yes, or you wouldn’t be here!” There are a lot of questions and I admit to not having many of the answers. We say our bedtime prayers and we mention many of our blessings – which we so often take for granted; things like a warm bed, plenty of food, shelter, security. We pray for Ukraine – honing in on the needs of children, praying they have access to food and shelter and are surrounded by people that love them.

8:00 – 8:30 pm | I let the kids have a “start” sleepover. They listen to an audiobook and talk. There is plenty of giggling, but everyone stays happy which isn’t always the case.

I write, and send, a monthly family update to family and friends. It’s shorter than usual. I send a second email to a handful of people with pictures from the month.

8:32 pm | Levi heads back to his bed and asks for a snuggle. I oblige and say I’ll be there in less than 5 minutes. He’s dead asleep by the time I arrive, but I linger for a long time; I climb under the covers and snuggle him and rub his back and kiss his cheeks over and over again (easier while he’s stationary). And I just think how thankful I am that he is nestled so contentedly in bed. The injustice of what children – not just in Ukraine, though this is clearly at the forefront of our minds – all around the world are experiencing feels heavy. I simply can’t solve all the world’s problems, and that realization feels heavy. But I can be thankful and use that gratitude to spawn more love for those around me and trust that ripple will grow and spread.

8:45 pm | Abby is still awake and wants to talk more about Ukraine. I do my best to explain NATO. We talk about propaganda and why other countries haven’t supplied ground troops. It’s a delicate balance – answering questions so they feel informed, while recognizing they are still children and it’s my/our duty to protect them from unnecessary overload.

9:00 pm | I head to my room to write in my One Line A Day journal. How I’ve loved filling out this journal every evening! John comes upstairs after his last meeting and I head in for a shower. I really should wash my hair, but can’t bear the thought of dealing with wet hair.

9:30 pm | Usually I read before bed, but this night we put on an episode of The Great Canadian Baking Show (not nearly as good as the British version but it’s a new season and it will do just fine). When that’s over I do a bit of Googling about health questions and check the news one last time.

11:00 pm | Lights out.

And that’s a wrap on Tuesday, 1 March…

Header photo by Di_An_h on Unsplash

18 thoughts on “A Day in the Life <> Circa March 2022”

  1. Well, that sounds like a perfectly lovely day! Really, doesn’t seem like there’d be anything you’d want to change. ๐Ÿ™‚ Seemed to tick all the boxes of family, some exercise, some work, some personal time, and more- and mostly all very pleasant! If that’s a typical day, you are very blessed indeed. ๐Ÿ™‚ (I am sure not all days are quite so rosy, however- but it’s sure nice when they are, isn’t it!)

    1. This was an uncharacteristically smooth day, I will admit! Can I be honest and say I wish yesterday and today could just be one big ol’ repeat of Tuesday? We’ve now had two consecutive snow days, we have a handyman coming to fix caulking and some faulty plumbing this morning and Tuesday is looking especially rosy!
      But you’re right it IS nice to have days like this. I also sometimes feel like when life gets to feel like a real slog and it feels like there will never be another full day of school or a day without some work or personal “emergency” – I can look to days like this as proof that some days really are smooth!

      I’ve never done time tracking with Laura Vanderkam, but I can appreciate how easily we tell ourselves stories about our life that end up not being 100% true (hypothetical example: someone might say I barely get anytime to read over the course of a week…but when they track their time discover they actually spent 5 hours reading). That sort of thing…

  2. Ooh, you know I love a Day in the Life post! What a nice day- you spent so much time with the kids. It sounds really nice and cozy, and I can’t wait to hear what the “change” is tomorrow!
    However, I know underlying all this are your health issues. I feel for you on this one. It’s not the same thing, but I’ve been dealing with my foot issue for almost two years now. I’m so tired of worrying about it, trying to figure out treatments, etc, etc, plus it’s just so boring to keep talking about it- which is hard to avoid since I have a running blog. I know your issue is more serious, but undiagnosable medical problems are so, so frustrating. I hope you can get some answers at some point.

    1. It was a nice day. I’m rather glad I chose Tuesday (random decision spurred on by your comment last week) and not Wednesday…which ended up being a snow day and felt like it took 1,000 hours to get through to bedtime.
      I was actually thinking about your foot this morning and what a constant nuisance it has been for you, Jenny. I really hope you get real and lasting relief soon. You’ve also hit the nail on the head – in addition to the physical side of health problems, it takes a real mental toll. One wonders if the right decisions have been made – in your case I’m sure you have to think a lot more about what forms of exercise you do to alleviate pressure on that foot. It ends up having so many ripple effects. Ugh. On the other hand I try, try, try to counter my natural negativity with the fact that I’m so blessed to have so many parts that DO work properly. I know of other that have much more serious health issues (one friend currently can’t drive because of health complications), so while I allow myself the right to lament, I also have to be sure to balance that with gratitude for all I HAVE got, which is a lot.

  3. Day in the life posts are fun to read because everyone’s days are so different! This sounds like a really wonderful day for the most part, health issues aside! I am sorry the new treatment you tried isn’t working. I really wish you could have your surgery sooner!!

    I don’t tend to fall asleep when reading at night but it’s the surest way to get my body to nap on weekend afternoons! I get super drowsy and will then put my book down and easily fall asleep!

    We went to the library this week, too. It was mild out yesterday so I put Will in the stroller and walked up to the library to return books/check out new ones. I thought of you when I put the books we were returning into the bottom of the stroller as i remembered you mentioning that a book got wet on a walk. I had ours in our library book bag and was hoping they’d stay dry and they did! The sidewalks were mostly dry yesterday since we’ve had some nice sunshine lately!

    1. It was a great day! I did pick it at random (based on a comment from Jenny the previous week)…but can assure you that MOST days do not go this smoothly. In fact we’ve now had two consecutive snow days which have been tolerable but I can assure you the last thing the kids needed were two more days off school.

  4. I love a day in the life post! I would have a hard time not pushing myself to make it more productive knowing I would be sharing the day. sigh. The pressure of always being productive is real.
    I hope you can sort out your health issues and have something work. I think we had similar options presented for iron/hemoglobin and for me an IUD has worked. Maybe that combined with a shift to menopause (I turned 50 this year). I wished I had tried that earlier. I have joint deformities from having rheumatoid arthritis since I was a teen and I completely get the mental space being eaten up from having on ongoing condition. I hope another option does work for you.
    And I will be tuning back in tomorrow!

    1. Thanks, Shelly.
      Well…I talk so much about my learning process of trying to not put so much weight on being productive so I TRY to practice what I preach. It did end up being a really great day with a good mix of being productive and enjoying my time. Intense iron supplementing did work for a while, but then stopped being effective and I went the IUD route. Without going into too much detail…I can only describe the experience – start to finish – as being hellish for 1.5 years+. Multiple doctors have suggested going that route again to avoid surgery and I cannot bear the thought.
      I was really hoping the iron infusions last summer (4 in total) would do the trick but, again, it wasn’t a panacea. I’d say I felt 10% better…which isn’t nothing, but doesn’t offset the hassle of treatment (this was all covered by Canadian health coverage, but it’s a very expensive treatment so I also didn’t want to keep doing it when others really benefit…).
      Health conditions can take up a lot of physical and mental space in our life…but with a “manageable” chronic condition life must go on and it does. I really do appreciate the support from readers and, more generally, I think it really helps to know that others have/are struggling in similar ways. I think we do genuinely all want each other to get better, but knowing that we’re not alone provides a lot of comfort. I also think women can feel shame in sharing stories like this; maybe seeing it as a form of weakness? And, hopefully, by talking about these things openly we can better support each other!
      See you tomorrow ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. I think it’s funny that you wanted to do a “normal” day for your post. I’m considering doing a snapshot of a day post next week and I’m determined that it’s going to be a day when I do something unusual because otherwise every single of one of my posts are the same (woke up, read, worked, walked the dog, exercised, made dinner, read some more, went to bed) and I at least want to be able to say I went somewhere! I get the appeal of having a record of normalcy, but I worry that my boring days will just be too boring!

    1. That sounds like a great day, though – what youโ€™re describing.
      I will admit this particular Tuesday went more smoothly than a typical day, but it definitely still approximates my โ€œnormal.โ€

  6. Like many have already said: I love a good day in the life post! Thank you so much for sharing yours! I also just want to say I’m so sorry to hear your current treatment isn’t working out and I, too, wish for you that you could have the surgery you mentioned earlier. Chronic conditions are so, so hard to deal with, with all the energy and mental space they suck out of your life in addition to the symptoms of the actual condition… obviously me saying this is of absolutely no help to you, but I just want to somehow say that I see and honor your Hard, and the amount of work and energy you put into living your life in spite of it.

    1. Thanks for the well-wishes. Making this latest decision to stop treatment felt empowering. It’s hard to try to read your own body + weigh suggestions from medical professions, but in the end I have to allow myself to change course based on instinct, which I’ve done yet again. Making the decision to pursue surgery was another hard – big – decision, but I feel confident it is the right next step.
      I do appreciate all your support (and for the friends and family that have so patiently walked beside me over the years).
      And, I’m also trying to appreciate the fact that the older I get the more things I try and when treatment options fail, it’s not a failure because it means I have tried to prioritize my health and have new information to inform next decisions (i.e. the iron infusions didn’t help, so I can remove those from my future-think)!

  7. Day in the life posts are so fascinating to me! I love reading them. This seems like a very busy day between the kid stuff and work stuff, but you also got to enjoy some downtime here and there.

    I’m sorry about all the health issues. It’s got to be the most frustrating when you can’t figure out the right things that will make you feel better. UGH.

    1. It was a great day!
      Health issues are…still there, but I really do feel like this was a line in the sand I had to draw? I have been trying – on doctor recommendations – different forms of this treatment for OVER 20 years. It simply does not work for my body. I don’t “regret” trying these things, but it’s time to move on and that decision does feel huge. Even saying “I’m not going to do anything else until I get that surgery date” feels empowering in a way. So after feeling glum about it, I’m feeling better – at least mentally!

  8. Oh, I love this glimpse into your life and your family. I have to say, you are so engaged and interactive with your kids. Really – I know we all doubt ourselves at times, but I hope that you NEVER doubt who you are as a mom. I love reading about how you spend time with them, talk to them (about hard things, too – hard for adults, let alone kiddos), play games with them, and then snuggle them after they’re long-asleep. You are giving them a lovely model of what a parent-child relationship should be, so please do not ever discount that.

    And you know I, too, am so sorry for the undiagnosed and (as yet) untreatable chronic condition you are dealing with. I can sympathize, and hope that you find something that works for YOU before you are able to have surgery. Maybe this time will allow you the space – physical and mental – to choose what feels good, what makes your body function better, and your mind? Sometimes – often, actually – the ‘experts’ are totally clueless, too. I know it’s a lot of work but you know you – and you know what makes you feel good, and what makes you feel worse. You know I am sending hugs, and support, and well-wishes across the miles. (Not to mention, hemoglobin-increasing thoughts… although I suspect a strictly-steak diet might not be the best solution for you. ;>)

    Take care – I hope you have many more days such as this in your future. <3

    1. Ha! Doubting my mothering skills is practically a full-time job for me, but I sincerely appreciate your lovely sentiment. I do try my best – failing plenty!
      I have really gotten to the point where I feel like I’ve tried everything that has been suggested and need to just start listening to my own body. And that, in itself, feels very liberating and removes a big mental burden. Also, making the decision to pursue surgery has literally been almost a decade in the making, and so having the choice behind me also feels like it has removed a big weight. Thanks for the well-wishes!

  9. Hi friend, I am now catching up on some of your recent posts and I’ve enjoyed this glimpse into your day. Also loved how you touched on all the things that are going on in the world right now – I feel the heaviness of it all, too, and yet we have to focus and tend to our own lives in front of us at the same time.
    I don’t envy you that you have to talk about these heavy things with your children, but I think it’s good to have these conversations, allow questions and also be okay with not having answers.

    1. Life does in a both sad – and hopeful at the same time – way have to go on.
      Lots of questions, not many answers, but I have to admit the perspective from the kids is incredibly eyeopening sometimes.

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